Osprey Oliver & Olivia’s 2011 Photo Rewind

Here is a ‘photo rewind’ of Oyster Cove’s osprey pair, Oliver and Olivia’s 2011 season.  Of the thousands I took during that season, it was very tough to select just these to share in a ‘shortened’ rewind from all my posts.  Oliver and Olivia’s adventures and antics were absolutely amazing as I watched and photographed them working together to successfully produce, raise, and teach two fledglings to be able to forge out on their own.

And now on with Oliver and Olivia’s 2011 life in photos!

March 14 – Olivia has returned home to her Oyster Cove nest.

For the Oyster Cove community, we knew Oliver was back and reunited with Olivia on March 17 from all the kew-kew-kew-kew noise they chattered on the excitement of their reunion.

March 17 – Olivia brings a large fish to the nest.

March 17 – Olivia has her eye on an intruder as she guards her dinner.

March 17 – Later, Oliver delivers a small fish to the nest; Olivia doesn’t look so impressed!

March 17 – Oliver & Olivia quickly get down to business with their mating.

March 17 – More mating….

March 18 – Oliver & Olivia working together to rebuild their home.

March 18 – Olivia kicks out dirt & debris in the nest while Oliver jumps out of the way!

March 19 – Olivia enroute to the nest with a large stick for nest rebuilding.

March 19 – Olivia approaches the nest with that large stick.

March 19 – Oliver brings a headless fish to Olivia at the nest.

March 19 – Oliver (left) and Olivia (right).  The osprey female is larger than the male.

March 20 – Oliver (left) and Olivia (right) at sunrise, preparing for a long day of home rebuilding.

March 20 – Oliver at work while Olivia watches on.

March 20 – Olivia taking a stretch break from nest building.

March 20 – Olivia back to helping.

March 20 – Oliver working on their nest.

March 20 – Oliver brings back a snack.

March 20 – Oliver arrives to the nest with another fish.

March 20 – Oliver works on placing a stick in just the right spot!

March 20 – Olivia retrieves a stick floating in the water and returns with it to the nest.

March 20 @ 7:00 PM – Olivia is still working on the nest. Notice the growth in just one day!

March 22 – Oliver with more nesting material.

March 22 – Oliver attempting to deliver the stick without hitting Olivia.

March 22 – At sunset after a hard day’s work, Oliver perches on a post from the nest platform while Olivia looks on.

March 28 – Olivia taking a break on her nest.

March 28 – Oliver delivers a fish to Olivia.

March 30 – Oliver has a thing for ‘trashy’ decor!

April 3 – This photo taken just hours before Olivia delivers her first egg, shows Oliver working on strengthening the nest for the impending family.

April 3 – Olivia descends deep in the nest and appears to be laying her first egg based on my watch.

April 3 – Later while incubating her freshly laid egg, Olivia watches Oliver bring her a fish for her hard work and success!

April 4 – Oliver continues nonstop in building their nest larger and stronger.

April 7 – Returning from a nest break, Olivia finds an anxiously awaiting Oliver, eager to pass her back egg-duty.

April 7 – Oliver leaving the nest.

April 9 – Oliver flying by to check me out!

April 14 – Olivia leaves & takes a quick fly around the nest, then returns to the eggs.

April 14 – Olivia departs with a fish that Oliver brought to her.

April 14 – Olivia heads off to an isolated perch to enjoy her dinner.

April 17 – Another day with Olivia departing with a fish from Oliver, she is passing it from her beak to her talons while she flies off.

April 17 – Oliver on egg-duty!

April 18 – Oliver in flight.


April 18 – Oliver’s architectural work to date with Olivia deep in the middle.

April 20 – Oliver giving me the eye….

April 20 – Olivia smiling for the camera!

April 20 – Olivia taking a break away from the nest, perching on Lippincott’s channel marker.

April 20 – Olivia returns to the nest, Oliver is egg-sitting.

April 24 – Oliver returning to check on Olivia.

April 26 – Oliver skippin’ the waves!

April 27 – Oliver works in more nesting material with Olivia deep in the nest behind him.

April 28 – Oliver and Olivia chatting…..wonder what they’re saying?

April 28 – Oliver rests at sunset, keeping an eye on their surroundings while Olivia continues egg-duty.

April 29 – Both parents check out their clutch.

May 6 – Oliver gives me a stare-down. He won!

May 6 – Oliver departs from the nest.

May 8 – Oliver flies by with a fish.

May 8 – Oliver continues on by me and lands on the nest.  Nice catch!

May 8 – Both parents check out an intruder passing by.

May 8 – Olivia is tending to some nest activity while Oliver looks on a bit bewildered!  I believe this is the day the first egg hatched.

May 8 – Olivia takes a brief break from her duties to soak up some rays of sunshine.

May 10 – Are the parents looking at one or two chicks?  The second egg was due to hatch.

May 12 – Oliver keeps an eye on the chicks while Olivia took off for a break.

May 15 – Olivia feeds her babies while Oliver watches.

May 10 – Oliver’s handsome wings.

May 10 – Olivia’s beautiful wing-span.

May 10 – Oliver doing a fly-by to say Hi!

May 12 – Beautiful feathers!

May 15 – Olivia skimming the water.

May 15 – Olivia skimming the water.

May 19 – Olivia takes a late-afternoon nap while protecting her chicks.

May 17 – Oliver brings home a fish.

May 20 – Olivia returns to her babies after chasing off an intruder.

May 22 – Hello World!

May 22 – Oliver & Olivia’s two offspring.

May 22 – Olivia goes for a swim.

May 22 – Olivia returns to the nest after a swim.


May 22 – Olivia’s defiant attitude towards a person standing at the base of the nest. No one messes with her babies!


May 22 – Oliver chases and attacks a bald eagle that was passing by the nest.

May 22 – The bald eagle wasn’t too pleased being attacked by Oliver. Note the size difference between the two.

May 22 – Another combative stance before the bald eagle flew off.

May 22 – Olivia circles to protect the chicks while Oliver dog-fights with the bald eagle.

May 22 – A baby osprey checks out the world with mom Olivia keeping an eye on him.

May 26 – Olivia naps while the chicks look about.

May 30 – The chicks are growing at an amazing pace!

May 30 – A smiling chick!

May 30 – Feeding time!

May 30 – Stretching those tiny wings.

May 30 – Olivia in flight.  The missing feather was most likely from molting.

June 3 – Mom Olivia watching her babies.


June 5 – Mom Olivia is eyeing the water below the nest.  Seeing a fish maybe?


June 5 – Olivia takes flight and immediately dives in attack mode.


June 5 – Olivia pulls herself back up out of the water.  Did she succeed in snagging a fish?


June 5 – Olivia scores!


June 5 – Back to the nest with her catch.


June 5 – Olivia coming in for a landing.

June 5 – Mom Olivia feeds one of her chicks.

June 5 – Dad Oliver returns with another fish for the chicks.

June 6 – More incoming food!

June 7 – Mom and the kids!

June 7 – At four weeks, the chicks have already developed their pin feathers.

June 8 – Those growing wings are awkward & cumbersome as the chicks try to flap them.

June 8 – Flap, flap, flap!

June 7 – Oliver brings home a nice catch for the family dinner.  He’s been a great provider!

June 10 – Oliver brings home another meal, but this time he enjoyed the head for himself first.

June 10 – Olivia and the chicks pant to stay cool in the hot humidity that enveloped our area.

June 10 – The chicks pant to stay cool in the hot humidity.

June 11 – Family Portrait!

June 11 – I think the osprey chicks sighted me….

June 17 – More fish for those hungry chicks!  That’s a chick on the right….at 5 weeks old!

June 17 – Feeding time.

June 18 – The chicks begin hanging along the edge so they can see out over the nest to that great big world that is awaiting them.

June 18 – A close-up of the fast-growing chicks!

June 17 – One of the chicks practices on flapping those huge, awkward wings.

June 18 – A chick practices flapping, accidentally slapping mom & his sibling in the process!

June 18 – Olivia flying around, circling the nest and enjoying a break.

June 17 – “Mom’s back, yea!”

June 17 – Excited to see mom back!

June 18 – Chicks intently looking at mom Olivia.

June 18 – One of the chicks looking over the edge down to the water. Does he see a fish?

June 26 – What growth in just eight weeks!

June 26 – What a wing-span in just eight weeks!

June 24 – Wing-flapping is constant now; the chicks are close to start becoming airborne.

June 24 – It appeared this chick was going to follow mom, but he just watched her and flapped while clinging the nest tightly with his talons.

June 25 – Both parents warning an air intruder to stay away!

June 25 – Dad Oliver leaves the nest while the chicks watch.

June 25 – Diving straight down, Oliver extends his talons….

June 25 – Oliver lines up the strike!

June 25 – Oliver succeeds!

June 25 – Oliver returns with freshly caught fish while the chicks watched. Dad’s teaching!

June 26 – Tolerating the water humans!

June 30 – A chick whacks a patient Olivia in the head with his huge wing-span.

June 27 – One of the chicks watches dad Oliver arrive with more nesting material.

June 27 – Coming and going takes a little more caution with the parents. See those talons?

June 27 – Full House!

June 29 – The chicks watch Dad Oliver arrive with another stick while Mom Olivia rests.

June 30 – Oliver brings home the fish!  At this time, each chick needs/eats approximately three fish a day to keep up with their growth.

June 30 – Mom and her nine week old teenagers!

July 1 – Olivia skimming the water to cool off during a hot humid day.

July 1 – Olivia returns to the nest after a dip in the water.

July 1 – Olivia air-drying her wings.

July 1 – A striking pose of Olivia.

July 1 – A chick becomes vocal at a passing bird.

July 1 – More vocals; mom Olivia does check & sees the gull which is not a threat to them and continued to feed the other chick.  But the little one is learning!

July 5 – The chicks have a tug-of-war over a fish as they learn to feed themselves.

July 1 – A chick scratchin’ an itch!  Careful there with those sharp talons!

July 1 – Oliver bringing some softer nesting material. He’s got to keep the nest intact as the chicks jump and flap all over the nest.

July 1 – A chick ‘feels the wind’ while a swallow cruises on by.

July 1 – Family Portrait with Olivia wet from a recent swim.

July 9 – The chicks have finally fledged; here’s one circling the nest, trying out those huge wings!

July 9 – A chick coming in for a landing!

July 9 – “Watch out, Mom!”

July 9 – The chick is ready to grab the nest when he lands!

July 9 – Touchdown!  Yay!

July 9 – A successful landing deserves a pose!

July 8 – Olivia and the teens get drenched in the rain.

July 10 – Olivia fiercely chasing a Great Blue Heron who came too close to her family & nest.

July 10 – The chicks watch as Mom Olivia pursues the frightened Great Blue Heron.

July 10 – Olivia drove the Great Blue Heron away and returned proud!

July 9 – A chick strengthening his wings and having a great time.

July 12 – The chicks always return to their home for feedings & comfort.

July 16 – A chick having fun…..

July 16 – and then turns to fly over my left.

July 16 – Right on pass me!

The ongoing intense heat and humidity kept both the parents and chicks’ nest visits to a minimum.

July 18 – My last sighting and photo of Oliver departing the nest.

July 21 – Olivia

After those last photos, no more sightings of the parents or chicks were seen on the nest.  Migration for Osprey is usually late August/early September, with the female parent leaving first, followed by the chicks.  The male parent will remain until the last chick has left the area to begin his/her migration.  Because it was too early for our Osprey family to depart for migration, and it also seemed sudden, I conversed with Lisa, one of Blackwater Refuge’s osprey & eagle experts and webmaster, with my notes and concerns.

She responded, “If all of them have gone, then it’s likely they’re hanging out somewhere together….maybe they found a good fishing spot somewhere nearby. It does seem odd that the chicks would have become that independent that quickly. If they’re not coming back to the nest…..then maybe they have moved their action elsewhere, near a good fishing hole.”

Another reason decided could have been a scare or attack by a Great Horned Owl who is the Osprey’s biggest enemy.  Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center across Marshy Creek from me confirmed they had an active Great Horned Owl nest.  So maybe with that attack and/or fear, our Osprey family moved off together to a safer area until their migration-pull kicked in.   

We hope Oliver and Olivia survive their treacherous journey south and arrive back March 2012 healthy and ready to give us another season of wonder and amazement!

19 thoughts on “Osprey Oliver & Olivia’s 2011 Photo Rewind

  1. Wow Donna. What a great documentary of the whole process. Loved the photos of them looking at you and posing. I can’t believe how Oliver picked up the trashy material. That was so funny. What perfect family pictures! You really have a great eye and are so talented. Loved also your captions on sequence of events. Its like you know exactly what they are thinking and doing and it is a whole education for me. I hope they come back to you and give you more grandObabies! The teens may come back to you someday and give you great grandObabies!!! That is my hope for you. Oliver and Olivia will surprise you one day. I sometimes wish they had GPS on so we know where they are. So far our pair in SC are doing all they should be doing according to your pictures. I think the first egg was laid on or near 4/3/12, so I am hopeful to see little heads the week of 5/13/12. Will keep you posted. Linda/SC

    • When I was putting the ‘rewind’ together, I really had a hard time limiting the number of photos to those I did post. Didn’t want to overdo & bore everyone. I could easily have added a hundred more for last season. So many photos have their expressions or reactions captured, giving them personality and character, and I love it! The number of photos I have of Oliver & Olivia from the past three seasons is ridiculous, lol. I had to go buy two large external harddrives, one to store them, and one for backups. Glad I helping you learn, that’s how I started. I didn’t know a thing about osprey until 2009. Even the hubby has learned, whether he wanted to or not! GrandObabies, I love it! I am thinking with all the osprey that are around now in my immediate area, some of them are possibly an offspring from O&O. Makes me feel better thinking it! When you see a little head pop up, I know that thrill and excitement and cannot wait to hear yours from you! Keep us posted Linda! 🙂

  2. I thought hard about naming the osprey and I came up with Angelo and Angelina. 🙂 My uncle Ang is going to be 90 this month and decided to name the Osprey after him because he is such a great man. Love the name too. Hope to see babyO’s and will name them like hurricanes this year…Adrean, Anita, Antonio; 2013 Benito, Bella, and Brando; 2014 Caterian, Carlo, and Columbo; 2015 Dino, Dante, and Danielle.
    Nothing like counting my osprey’s before they hatch!!! Silly…but had fun thinking about it.

    Love your pictures over and over again!! A few more hundred of them would not bore me at all!! Love their expressions and your timing is awesome!!

    • I love your name choices, even more so naming your male after Uncle Ang, makes it more special. I think you came up with a great idea on naming the chicks too! We never named ours except the one year we had three chicks and the last one just seemed so scared to fledge and once he did, he still seemed to like the security of the nest and would hardly leave it. So he needed a name since we talked to him all the time, and my daughter called him Charlie. LOL We thought he almost wasn’t going to migrate, but dad Oliver dutifully stayed along with him until one day a few weeks late Charlie was gone, and then Oliver right behind him.

  3. Pingback: Well, now, look at that … « some little crum creek

  4. That is a remarkable series of photos. Thank you very much. If I keep coming back and studying it I believe it’s possible I might learn a thing or two about ospreys–and remember it, too.

  5. I can look at these O&O rewind photos so many times and never get bored with them. I think we have a hatched osprey chick this morning!!!!!!!!! On O&O’s first babychick birthday!! How special is that??? Will be looking for more and confirm the births. They are about 50-60 feet high so I am trying every which way to get a good angle. I will take the telescope out to the water if I have to!! Desperation!!

    Angelo just dove down and caught a fish for his new and growing family!!
    Can’t tell you just how excited I am!!

    • WOOHOO!! I’m very excited for you Linda! I know how you feel, it’s almost like you’re the mother hen watching over your brood! 🙂 For others, last year Oliver and Olivia’s first chick hatched today, hopefully last year’s brood is enjoying the South American tropics now. 🙂 If you’re a nature lover and watch a specific male or female or family species on a daily basis, how can you not feel attached to them. Linda, enjoy your time on osprey-time!

  6. Fantastic rewind of a nesting season!! I’m am equally attached to our ospreys, Sandy and Stanley, now sitting on the eggs. So good so far, one attack by a Great Blue heron thwarted this week…

    • Thanks so much! I miss Oliver & Olivia and their yearly broods. Hoping & fingers crossed an Osprey pair find our nest platform this March enticing for their waterfront home. 🙂 Thanks for sharing yours, I’ll be by to watch your family grow. You can help feed my Osprey fix! Our area residents return March 12th. My eyes & ears are already active for an early-bird. 🙂

  7. Donna, I love this album! Your photos are beautiful! I followed ‘our’ osprey pair on a platform in Shipping Creek on Kent Island all last summer, from mating to first hatching to feeding to fledging, and our pair seemed to be about a month behind yours. That may be because they first started building their nest on a pile driver, only to have the pile driver leave the cove, forcing them to start over on the platform. I haven’t gathered all my osprey photos into one album, but just have interspersed them as postings on my facebook page “Chesapeake Scenes – Susan Hale’s Photos”, but you have inspired me to organize all my osprey photos into one album. I hope to meet you one of these days in the KI Photo Club. All of your photos of birds in flight are truly inspiring!

    • Thanks so much for your wonderful comments, Susan! The Osprey is what got me started in photography about seven years ago. They have such great character and personality and provide awesome photo ops when seen on a daily basis. They are wonderful to follow for a season, I definitely miss them when they leave in the fall. I’m glad to hear I inspired you, thank you so much for that lovely comment! I’ll check out your facebook page for sure to see your work. Happy shooting! 🙂

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